Free radical polymerization of styrene was monitored in situ by combining Raman spectroscopy to other experimental techniques (gravimetry and rheology). Three different processes were investigated: bulk, emulsion and miniemulsion polymerization. A complete analysis of the evolution of Raman spectrum during the course of reaction showed that a lot of information about molecular dynamics could be extracted and related to chemical phenomena. In addition, we report for the first time the coupling of Raman spectroscopy to a rheometer in order to monitor styrene bulk polymerization both at the scale of chemical bonds and at the scale of macroscopic phenomena (viscosity variation). Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.